Introduction: engaging feminist activist ethnography transnationally
(College of Wooster)
Paper short abstract:
This paper will introduce the panel by reflecting on Dána-Ain Davis & my vision for our recent edited collection Feminist Activist Ethnography: Counterpoints to Neoliberalism in North America and consider possibilities for expanding feminist activist ethnography transnationally.
Paper long abstract:
As a co-editor of the recent edited collection that this panel centers around, Feminist Activist Ethnography: Counterpoints to Neoliberalism in North America (with Dána-Ain Davis, Lexington Books 2013), this introductory paper will reflect on key decisions that were made as we edited this volume, highlighting the central contributions of feminists of color throughout the collection. The collection also benefits from the insights of feminist scholars across a range of professional positions: from the cutting-edge work of feminist graduate students to that of seasoned ethnographers who have watched neoliberalism emerge over the past few decades with a keen and critical eye. I will ultimately argue that feminist ethnographers—those featured in this collection, on this panel, and beyond—are in a key position to reassert the central feminist connections between theory, methods, and activism. Although the focus of our collection was on North America (a geographical area of study frequently ignored or dismissed by anthropologists), I contend that considering the possibilities, the challenges, and the promise of feminist activist ethnography transnationally is vital to the future of our discipline. As the panel abstract queries: What are the possibilities (and challenges) that exist for feminist ethnography transnationally, 25 years after initial debates emerged about reflexivity, objectivity, reductive individualism, and the social relevance of activist scholarship? How can feminist ethnography intensify efforts towards social justice in the face of global neoliberalism? This panel will offer an important opportunity to consider these questions outside of a North American context.
Feminist activist ethnography and social change